Posted by: smithdavid | April 21, 2013


The Rossnowlagh car park is full,  we have to nose into the entrance, then reverse out and go back to Finn McCool’s. We go into the surf shop, figuring we might as well check in to the lodge before we go for a surf because it’ll be late when we’re done.

The sun is out when we walk down towards the beach, campers are parked up along the pavements and girls in light dresses,  guys in shorts saunter down the middle of the road. We see Nickey and Tara’s red camper and then at the rocks that separate the car park from beach we find them.

‘It was pretty awesome a few hours ago,’ says Tara as we look out towards where the waves meet the shore.  ‘Even better yesterday evening…’

Out in the mid-distance lines of swell ripple in towards the beach. When they get close enough they jack up two or three feet and then break.

‘That looks good enough for me,’ I say. Emmet and I walk briskly back to Finn McCool’s to change. When we are suited and I have Matilda under my arm the joy of being able to surf in these conditions overwhelms me and I run down past the Sand House Hotel, in between the cars in the car park and onto the beige sand.

the wave jacks up two or three feet...

the wave jacks up two or three feet…

In the water, we paddle out and despite the fifty or so other surfers, Emmet and I quickly catch waves. There is no real weight in the waves but they have enough in them to ride for a while.

Emmet and I sit out back for a while. Emmet turns his board so that it lies at right angles to him, drapes his arms over the sides and waits for something worth paddling for. I do the same and feel the heat on my face and see the vivid green grassland above the cliffs down the south side. I try to imagine how this day could be better but nothing comes to mind.

‘This one,’ Emmet says after a time. We both flip over onto our boards.

‘I’ll go left,’ I say as the wave begins to pull. I’ve never ridden backhand (with my back to the breaking wave) before but this is a gentle two footer and it feels natural. I look over my shoulder and see Emmet gliding off to the right.

When we meet out back, the crowds have begun to dwindle, the sun has dipped. Things are even better than they were a few minutes ago.

Now we are the last ones in and we can see almost nothing.

we can see almost nothing...

we can see almost nothing…

‘Suppose this’ll have to be our last,’ says Emmet as a decent size wave approaches. We paddle and when I have popped up and am rushing backhand, shore-wards you fizzle through me (on your second anniversary day) once more and I am warm and smiling and do not wish this moment to pass.

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